She comes from a very close Armenian family. She is the eldest of three sisters, and I have often envied the relationships they have. I do have two brothers, but they are 20 years my senior, and we are not very close, geographically or otherwise.
I got a text from her today that said her dad is in stage 3 malignant bladder cancer. He will begin radiation treatments in the morning. The prognosis is for a 70-80% chance of stopping the growth with a 5 year maximum longevity. Chemotherapy will follow the radiation.
The news hit me like a brick! My own father died of bladder cancer the year before I met my friend. I was 14, and for 5 years my dad was a man we visited in the VA hospital who came home for periods of time, but never returned to work. It was horrible. All the memories of my mom struggling with a menopause, a tween daughter, and having to go back to work came back to me. CANCER SUCKS. It sucks the life out of people who have it and of those they love.
I would like to believe that cancer treatment has come a long way in the last 35 years, but i just can't. I don't see that his treatment plan is any different than my dad's. My dad ended up having his bladder removed, and the cancer spread until he also had a colostomy. He was a big man, probably 250 pounds, and weighed about 90 when he died. It was sickening to watch, but even worse was hearing my mom crying in her room at night. I will always remember the phone call in the middle of the night when he passed away.
I texted my friend back. I told her I was sorry to hear it, and inquired about her mom. She said her sister was there and was a blessing, and that her and her other sister in AZ would be traveling back to Illinois soon. I tried then to call her and got a voicemail. I left a sappy message, but was actually relieved she hadn't answered, because I was all choked up and started to cry, which would not have been very comforting.
I later got an email from the youngest of the sisters, basically repeating the news. I composed an email back, and copied it to my friend. I assured them I would pray for guidance and wisdom for the doctors, peace and patience for Iris, comfort and healing for John. I also said that I was thankful that he has the Lord, and such amazing daughters.
I've been sad ever since. I know there is nothing I can do, but I wish I could just wrap my arms around those wonderful women and the amazing parents that raised them. God bless them as they climb this most difficult mountain.
I've just now read this, and I'm sorry you've been dealt this blow, especially as it has reopened an old wound for you. And you're right: cancer *does* suck the life out of the family, as well; I'm sending positive thoughts and well-wishes to your friend and her family, hoping that they'll find the peace to get through this crisis.ReplyDelete